From EQCA's Blog: The California Ripple Effect
What?? That’s what Prop. 8’s lawyers would have you believe:
[Howard C. Nielson Jr., a lawyer for the defense] questioned Dr. Meyer [witness] on the presumed link between social stigma and domestic partnerships. “Do you believe that domestic partnerships stigmatize gay and lesbian relationships?” asked Mr. Nielson.
“Yes,” said Dr. Meyer.
Mr. Nielson then pointed out that the bill granting rights to domestic partnerships in California was sponsored by Equality California, the lead organization that opposed Proposition 8. “Do you believe Equality California would sponsor a bill that stigmatized gays and lesbians?” asked Mr. Nielson.
Allowing gays and lesbians to have domestic partnerships while ruling out the option of marriage made “a clear statement of stigmatization, with a dual system,” said Dr. Meyer. “You could say that the message is more severe: you can only get to the back of the bus.” (NYT)
Domestic partnerships are stigmatizing when compared to marriage, but even worse than having domestic partnerships is having no recognition at all for our relationships.
Passing domestic partnership recognition in California—the first time ever through a state legislature—was an historic accomplishment that required an enormous amount of hard work against fierce opposition. Of course, EQCA and other advocates never had any intention to stop after achieving this separate and unequal status. Domestic partnerships were always a step along the way to marriage equality. Mr. Nielson’s suggestion is nothing but silly.
If these kinds of games are what we can expect from the other side, our outlook is sunny indeed.